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Two Bodies, Two IDs

March 23, 2007 at 5:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

One body was found in a ditch, the other in a lake. Now, they both have been identified. It is still too early in both cases to determine the circumstances surrounding the individuals’ deaths.

Good Old Fashioned Mudslinging

March 23, 2007 at 12:25pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Today’s Journal Star features a nice story featuring good old fashioned mudslinging between Ken Svoboda and Chris Beutler. Nothing too exciting has been said so far, and in the end the points of contention really aren’t all that contentious. I think it says a lot about this election that the candidates haven’t picked on each other more, and that when they do there isn’t much picking to be done.

Yant’s Ideas

March 22, 2007 at 12:25pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

I don’t think he has a pizza’s chance in a room full of graduate students, but mayoral candidate Roger Yant’s latest ideas are worth noting:

  1. Set up police substations in the public schools and staff them with six officers. Yant would use existing officers, rather than hiring additional officers
  2. Get LPD involved with initiative 287g, which would allow LPD officers to carry out immigration law functions typically handled by the feds. Yant would fire Police Chief Tom Casady if Casady did not want to get involved.
  3. Move the Harold Warp Pioneer Village from Minden to Lincoln.

To me, these three proposals clearly illustrate why Roger Yant is not qualified to lead our community. In addition to being extremely expensive, the first proposal would draw police officers out of the community, and it would practically turn public schools into de facto prisons. The second proposal’s merits are debatable, but Yant’s propensity to threaten to fire anybody and everybody who disagrees with him is obnoxious. And the third idea is downright bizarre. Trying to increase tourism dollars in Lincoln is fine, but if you’re going to propose stealing a small town’s attraction, shouldn’t you at least run the idea by the folks who will be affected before making it a campaign plank?

I sincerely appreciate Mr. Yant’s efforts, and I’m glad he is trying to bring some new ideas to the mayor’s race. I just don’t think he has what it takes to lead a community of nearly 250,000 people.

Stirring the Pot: Tell Me About the Death Penalty

March 21, 2007 at 12:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

I don’t raise extremely controversial issues very often here at Lincolnite, but since I’ve been so quiet these past couple days, I figure: what the heck? The proposed repeal of the death penalty has been shut down by one vote. Did lawmakers get it right? Or is it time for Nebraska to ditch the death penalty?

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Opening Up Adoption

March 21, 2007 at 12:25pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

I’m a fan of LB571, which would allow unmarried couples to jointly adopt children. Unfortunately, the debate is probably more likely to be focused on the (perceived) perils of allowing gay couples to adopt, rather than on the benefits of placing more family-less children with loving and capable parents. I should note that I am not inherently opposed to requiring somewhat stricter rules for unmarried adoptive couples than married couples to the extent that those rules are designed to protect the adopted child, especially in the event that the couple breaks up. Let’s not pretend that being married automatically makes a couple more suited for parenting than an unmarried couple, though. Generally speaking that’s probably true. But the fact that an unmarried couple is willing and able to make it through the adoption process probably makes them more qualified to raise a child than a good chunk of married couples.

Luxuries

March 21, 2007 at 12:20pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

I don’t know if he meant to, but Lincoln Police Chief Tom Casady pretty much summed up the excesses of American politics—and really, of American life in general—with this quote:

A luxury once tasted becomes a necessity.

Oh the roads that sort of thinking has taken us down.

I’m All Verklempt

March 20, 2007 at 12:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

My apologies for being quiet these past few days. I’m a bit swamped right now. As Linda Richman would say, please talk amongst yourselves. I’ll be back soon!

Friday Five

March 16, 2007 at 12:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Can you figure out where in Lincoln these five items can be found?

  1. Woman spilling
  2. Eagle watching
  3. Family posing
  4. Man messaging
  5. Angel fishing

Feel free to chip in your own, following the same “noun verbing” pattern.

St. Patrick’s Day

March 16, 2007 at 12:25pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Where are the best places in Lincoln to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?

And a related question: Does anybody here actually like the traditional Irish foods—or rather, the American interpretation of traditional Irish foods—served on St. Patrick’s Day? I find Irish food to be edible but boring. Will any of you stand up for Irish cuisine?

Bruning for Senate?

March 15, 2007 at 12:20pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

As much as I dread the thought of Senator John Bruning (R.-NE), I would put money on that being the gist of his announcement today.

They’re Baaaaack

March 14, 2007 at 12:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

I have noticed that the annoyingly unforgettable Nebraska Diamond commercials are back on the radio. I hadn’t heard any for a while, but now they’re back with a vengeance. I have to give them credit for pounding their name into Lincolnites’ skulls, but dang those commercials are annoying. And here I am giving them free advertising.

I was a customer at Nebraska Diamond once. It’s definitely not your typical ring-buying experience. It wasn’t for me, but I can see why some guys (or couples) would prefer it. (For the record, I ended up buying at Sartor Hamann.)

AEDs Approved for High Schools

March 14, 2007 at 12:25pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

The School Board voted yesterday to place automatic external defibrillators in Lincoln’s high schools. I don’t disagree with the decision, but I wonder how they will decide where to put them so that they are always accessible, thus fending off potential liability issues. I’m sitting here thinking about the layout of Lincoln Southeast, for example, and I can’t think of any place you could put an AED that would always be accessible. Can you imagine being on the wrong side of a security gate in a medical emergency, the AED within spitting distance but unreachable?

Vision, But No Voice?

March 13, 2007 at 12:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

About a week ago I told you that I wrote to the 2015 Vision Group requesting some of the raw data from the surveys they collected at their community meetings. I’m disappointed to report that I haven’t heard a peep. They are under zero obligation to give me the data I requested, but it reflects poorly on the Group that they couldn’t even be bothered to tell me to buzz off. The 2015 Vision Group needs to convince the community that they are working with us, not above or around us. A faux pas like this isn’t going to help them do that.

Airpark is Taking Off

March 13, 2007 at 12:25pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

It seems like Airpark and its environs have been in the news a lot lately, and almost all of it is good news. New homes, new commercial activity, 300 new jobs at nearby Kawasaki ... one of Lincoln’s oft-forgotten neighborhoods seems to be breathing new life. For those of you who live in the area, what’s the vibe out there? For the rest of you, admit it—how many of you have never even been to Airpark?

In the Letters

March 13, 2007 at 12:20pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

From this morning’s LJS letters to the editor:

The smoking ban debate still goes on.

Those opposing the ban argue rights and financial problems, both weak issues.

The issue is health, man! If a smoker has no respect for his own health, how can he be expected to be concerned about someone else’s?

Jerrold C. Hood, Lincoln

Emphasis mine. This is one of the biggest things that bugs me about the smoking ban crowd. The “I know what’s good for you, your rights be damned” attitude. Seems to me rights are pretty important and they probably oughtn’t be brushed aside quite so lightly. It’s really no different than saying “I know what words are good for you”, “I know what sexual practices are good for you”, or even “I know what God is good for you”. There are legitimate arguments in favor of a smoking ban—though none has so far convinced me—and proponents should make them earnestly. But if you’re going to mock an individual’s rights as a “weak issue”, pardon me if I mentally group you with some of history’s less savory characters.

In another letter, Susan Ferris wants to know how much the 2015 Vision Group’s ten pillars will cost:

After reading the story with the headline declaring the “wide approval in polls” for the 10 “pillars” of the Vision 2015 group (LJS, March 5), I decided to take a little time and review what we know so far. I’ve checked their Web site and reread the Lincoln Journal Star coverage to date. Parts of this are really bothering me.

I’ve had several discussions in a variety of settings and the first comment is always the big unanswered question: “How much will any of this cost?”

“Do we want to move the State Fair?” is a completely different question than “Do we want to pay $70 million to move the State Fair?”  To report 48 percent indicating support … I believe that was with no cost estimates. Tell us what we might spend, and then do the polling!

If we can come up with $70 million (for one pillar and the only number I could find), how much do 10 pillars cost? Which pillar do we address first? Who says? What else might we want to do with a large sum of money? I want to put seat belts on school buses.

Vision 2015 is a discussion among private business people.  Where are the voices of our elected officials on this issue?

Susan Ferris, Lincoln

The short answer, Susan, is: a lot. The Antelope Valley Project, for example, is expected to require an approximately $1 billion investment. That’s approximately $250 million in public (local, state, federal) funds, plus an expected three times that amount in private investment in the area. The Q Street high rise will include an $8-$12 million public investment, plus as much as $50 million in private dollars. Omaha’s Qwest Center cost some $291 million to build; that offers a rough guide for pricing a convention facility in Lincoln. And on and on. In short, we’re talking hundreds of millions of public dollars, and a total investment well over a billion dollars. My guess as to why dollar figures aren’t mentioned more often? Because they are scary. Remember, just because a figure is scary doesn’t mean it isn’t doable. But clearly we have our work cut out for us as a community if we’re going to achieve all ten pillars.

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